No luck for Gabriela Jílková at Red Bull Ring in ADAC GT4
The second race weekend of ADAC GT4 Germany was not a lucky one for series front-runners Gabriela Jílková and Robert Haub. A fire ended the first race after a handful of laps on Saturday, while a late contact denied the duo a top five finish after a charging first part of the race on Sunday.
ADAC GT4 Germany was back on its fastest track of the season - the Red Bull Ring in Austria - with 29 drivers and 6 manufacturers, a month after the season opener at Oschersleben. Among the protagonists of the 2021 season, Gabriela Jílková and Robert Haub (Drago Racing Team ZVO) return to the German series, which they are contesting in addition to their European campaign.
Jílková/Haub targeted big points after a bittersweet weekend at Oschersleben, where they showed great speed and had a charging race 1 to finish sixth after a difficult qualifying. Unfortunately, an ill-fated weekend in Austria prevented the strong driver pairing from scoring any points.
In the first qualifying session, Gabriele Piana (Schrey, Hofor Racing by Bonk Motorsport) took pole from Nicolaj Møller-Madsen (Zulauf, AVIA W&S Motorsport) and Ben Dörr (Leroux, Dörr Motorsport). Robert Haub lost a bit of time during his run and qualified in P18 for the first race on Saturday.
Piana held the lead into the first corner - but green-flag racing was short-lived as a collision in the midfield triggered the Safety Car: Robin Falkenbach (Marchewicz, Schnitzelalm Racing) was stranded on track. Robert Haub had a great start and was up to 13th place, but after the restart he started to drop down the order. The battery inside the cockpit of his Drago Racing Team ZVO Mercedes AMG GT4 caught fire and he was forced to stop and retire. Luckily, Haub was unharmed.
Meanwhile, Piana continued to lead the field, ahead of a close battle between Møller-Madsen, Ben Dörr and Böckmann (Born, Schnitzelalm Racing). Piana was able to open a gap of almost 8 seconds before coming into the pits to hand over his car to Michael Schrey - who eventually finished first with a gap of 7,6 seconds to Leroux and Born.
Zulauf and Møller-Madsen, who were in second position for a long time, had to complete a long-lap penalty for a minimum pit stop time infringement.
In race 2, the leading positions looked a bit different: Simon Connor Primm (Hantke, Dörr Motorsport) scored the pole position, ahead of Theo Nouet (Hanses, CV Performance) and Romain Leroux (Ben Dörr). Gabriela Jílková brought home a 17th place for the starting grid of the second race of the weekend.
Primm got away well and led the race with Schrey - who recovered from fourth on the grid -right on his tail, ahead of Nouet. But again, an early Safety Car on lap 10 interrupted the action: Holzem (Holzem, Dörr Motorsport) crashed into the barriers after contact with Pavlicek (Knopp, RTR projects).
After the restart, Primm defended his lead - but Nouet stopped on track bringing out another Safety Car. On the second restart, Primm went into Turn 1 as the leader, but was soon after passed by Schrey for the top spot. Schrey handed his car over to Piana, who further pulled away. A third Safety Car bunched up the field back together. Second and third placed Falkenbach and Piro collided and brought out the next caution.
Piana continued to lead the stop-and-go race ahead of Dontje (Phil Dörr, Dörr Motorsport) at the next green flag: which was again not long-lived. This time it would be Robert Haub to hit trouble; the American had a great race together with Gabriela Jílková as the Czech racer had recovered up to the top five and pitted from third during the pit stop cycle. Haub was also eyeing a strong result, having run solidly in the top five until the final restart.
Unfortunately, Haub went deep into Turn 3 and collided with another car. Both were out, as the race ended under Safety Car conditions.
Gabriela Jílková and Robert Haub are now 19th in the drivers' championship standings, with four race meetings still available to make up for the lost points. The next ADAC GT4 Germany round is scheduled for 24th to 26th June at Zandvoort, Netherlands - but we will have the chance to see Jílková and Haub back in action in the GT4 European Series before, from 3rd to 5th June at Paul Ricard in France.